THE future of public health care in Central Queensland has entered a new era with local residents taking over the reins.
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg began to hand over control of local hospitals and health services when he announced the first Board Members for the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Board.
Board Chair Emeritus Professor Robert Miles said this was a new beginning for Central Queensland Hospital and Health Services and transformed the way health services were governed.
Prof Miles said from Sunday the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Board took control of hospital and health services in their local communities.
"Skilled locals have now been charged with helping restore community confidence in local health services," he said.
"With local boards in control of local health care, clinicians and health workers will be able to work side-by-side with decision makers.
"No doubt this will be a challenge, but I look forward to working with the Board Members and clinicians to guide healthcare in this region," Prof Miles said.
"Our focus will be on patient care, and we must ensure our hospital and health services meet both local priorities and national standards.
"To cement the board's link to patient care and to ensure our valuable clinicians have a voice in the direction of health service delivery to the community, I have also sought the input from two very senior specialists from Rockhampton Hospital to work with and advise the board as ex officio members.
"I congratulate the new Board Members on their appointment and look forward to working with them to improve healthcare in Central Queensland."
The Board Members for Central Queensland Hospital and Health Board are:
Bronwyn Christensen, a respected and successful local farmer and grazier, journalist and Secretary to the Hotel Theodore Board of Directors. She is also President of the Theodore Hospital Auxiliary and Treasurer of the Theodore District Health Council.
Kurt Heidecker, the inaugural CEO of the Gladstone Industry Leadership Group which addresses issues of regional concern regarding some of Gladstone's largest industrial sites.
Leone Hinton, currently the Director, Corporate Strategy and Planning Directorate at Central Queensland University. In 2010, Leone's expertise in this area was recognised when she was awarded the Australian Institute of Management Central Queensland Professional Manager of the Year.
Charles Ware, a legal consultant whose primary focus is commercial, property, planning and environmental law. He is also Director of the Residential Tenancies Authority and Deputy Chair of Gladstone Ports Corporation.
Dr David Austin (ex officio member), the Director of the Intensive Care Unit at Rockhampton Hospital. David holds College of Intensive Care Medicine and Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists qualifications.
Dr David Shaker (ex officio member), the Director of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Rockhampton Hospital. Clinical Research and Audit have a major place on David's agenda as he developed an ongoing clinical audit and quality programs in the department resulting in publications in peer reviewed journals.